Leadville Camp of Champs

As a first time participant in the Leadville 100 MTB I’ve been looking for every advantage I can to make sure I have the most successful performance I can. After locking up my charity slot in December I quickly decided to commit to the Camp of Champions where participants ride the entire course (and more) over 2 days with race experienced guides that include former and multi-winners Dave Wiens and Rebecca Rusch.

Continue reading Leadville Camp of Champs

Check your bolts, twice

Trying to keep this blog up to date with my mountain biking activities, leadville 100 training and visits to the bike shop is much harder than I thought it would be. It’s now been over a week since I originally intended to post this bike shop visit update (5/26).

During our family trip to Yosemite  for Memorial day I was able to get out for a solo ride around our lodging just outside the south gate. Toward the end of that ride my brakes started to feel incredibly soft and I noticed a banging sound coming from the tail of the bike.  Each of these issues contributed to my decision to not do the full Big Trees ride I had planned which conveniently was ridable directly from the inn.

Continue reading Check your bolts, twice

Bike fit

Last Monday (5/18) I had my first session for a bike fit service, another recommendation from Dave Wiens. This article includes his commentary about bike fit as well as bike choice. If you are at the point of purchasing a bike or just considering whether your current bike is up to the task it’s a good read.

Following the initial saddle change the goal of this session was two fold: get the saddle positioned correctly and measure my feet for new shoes. Continue reading Bike fit

Addressing Contact Points: New Seat

I can’t remember where but Dave Wiens, the most prolific Leadville 100 MTB winner of all time, emphasized that when you ride an endurance mountain biking event like this you need to make sure your 5 contact points with the bike are going to make for as comfortable and efficient experience as possible.

Today I went by the bike shop to hopefully improve the contact point with the most surface area: the seat.   Continue reading Addressing Contact Points: New Seat

1×11 Drivetrain Competition

Let me just start off by saying I completely love my 1×11 drivetrain. It feels bizarre to get on a bike with a front dérailleur at this point. Sure I miss the outer edges of the gear range from time to time but the simplicity and resulting focus I get more than compensates.

That said it’s clear more competition would be welcome in this space because these are some of the most expensive drivetrains around and when you consider the rate I’ve worn through them it’s insane. Seriously. Let’s put it this way, I purchased my 2014 Santa Cruz 5010 in December of 2013 and after 18 months I’m now on at least my 5th cassette. Continue reading 1×11 Drivetrain Competition

Riding with Power

Thursday I officially became a bike geek. I now have a power meter on my bike. This is an important element to my training effort for the Leadville 100 MTB race (exactly 16 weeks from today). Using a power meter is much more effective than a heart rate monitor for at least two reasons:

  1. Power measures current output, heart rate measures body reaction to output.
  2. Heart rate levels should decline with fitness and are also subject to other variables which don’t translate to output: excitement, caffeine, etc.

And for an 8-10 hour ride one needs to maximize efficiency which means higher power:heart rate ratio which can only be measured with both devices. Continue reading Riding with Power